460 years ago, 17 January 1558, the Livonian War began. The Russian army invaded the Livonian lands in order to punish Livonia for not paying tribute and other flaws.
Some historians consider the Livonian war a major military and political mistake of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. For example, N. I. Kostomarov saw in this war the excessive desire of the Russian tsar for conquest. In the West, the policy of the great Russian tsar is also called "bloody" and "aggressive."
Ivan the Terrible is one of the most hated Russian rulers for the West and for Russian Western liberals.
It is obvious that Ivan Vasilyevich pursued a policy that corresponded to the national, strategic interests of the Russian civilization (Russia-Russia) and the Russian people. Therefore, they hate him in the West, throw mud at him, denigrate various lackeys and lackeys of western orientation in Russia itself (Information war against Russia: the black myth of the "bloody tyrant" Ivan the Terrible; "Black Myth" about the first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible).
Indeed, the Livonian war was put on the agenda itself history, patterns of its development. Baltic since ancient times was part of the sphere of influence of Russia, was its outskirts. Through the Baltic - Varyazhskoye, and before that the Venetian Sea (Veneds - Venets - Vandals - this is a Slavic-Russian tribe living in Central Europe), the Rus-Russians from ancient times were associated with many interests with Europe, where their brothers in blood and language lived and faith.
Thus, the Russian state, which in the course of feudal disunity (the first big turmoil) lost a number of its outskirts, “Ukraine,” was to return to the Baltic states. This was demanded by history itself, economic and military-strategic interests (nothing has changed even now). Ivan Vasilyevich, following in the footsteps of his famous grandfather - Ivan III (who was already trying to solve this problem), decided to break the blockade, which separated Russia from Europe hostile to her Poland, Lithuania, the Livonian Order and Sweden.
However, the natural desire of Russia to break through to the Baltic met fierce resistance from Poland, which soon merged with Lithuania, and Sweden. The Polish elite feared that the strengthened Russia would decide to return both the West and South Russian lands occupied at one time by Lithuania and Poland. Sweden built its “Baltic empire”, it did not need a competitor on the Baltic Sea. In general, during the Livonian war against the Russian kingdom, the whole "enlightened Europe" came out and a powerful information war was unleashed against the "Russian barbarians" and the "bloody tsar-tyrant". It was then that the main methods of fighting the “enlightened West” with the “Russian Mordor”, which is going to be conquered by the “peaceful” Europeans, were formed.
In addition, in the south, a new "front" was realized - Russia was attacked by the Crimean horde, behind which stood Turkey. Then the Ottoman Empire was still a powerful military power that Europe was afraid of. The war has become protracted, exhausting. Russia fought not only with the advanced European powers, which had first-class armed forces, which were supported by a significant part of the West, but also with the Crimean Khanate and the Turkish Empire. Russia was forced to retreat. The government of Ivan the Terrible made a mistake by deciding that Poland and Sweden (in fact, the West) would allow Moscow to occupy Livonia. As a result, this strategic task can be solved only by the government of Peter I.
In the middle of the 15th century, Livonia was a scattered state entity that existed in the form of a confederation of the Livonian Order, the Archbishop of Riga, the four principalities-bishops (Dorpat, Ezel-Vika, Revel, Kurland), and the Livonian cities. At the same time, as a result of the Reformation, the influence of bishops in Livonia was sharply reduced, and their dignity became in many ways merely a formality. Only the Livonian Order had real power, whose lands by the beginning of the 16th century were more than 2 / 3 in the territory of Livonia. Large cities had wide autonomy and self-interest.
In the middle of the XVI century, the disunity of Livonian society reached its limit. Historian Georg Forsten noted that on the eve of the Livonian War "the internal state of Livonia represented the most terrible and sad picture of internal decomposition." The once strong Livonian Order lost its former military power. Knights preferred to solve personal economic problems and live in luxury, rather than preparing for war. However, Livonia relied on strong fortresses and large cities with serious fortifications. At the same time, Livonia has become an attractive target for its neighbors - the Polish-Lithuanian Union, Denmark, Sweden and Russia.
Livonia remained the enemy of Russia. So, in 1444, the Order of War broke out with Novgorod and Pskov, which lasted until 1448. In 1492, Ivangorod was founded in front of the German fortress Narva to fight against Livonia. In 1500, the Livonian Order made an alliance with Lithuania against the Russian state. During the 1501 — 1503 war, in 1501, the Order was crushed by Russian troops in the Battle of Gelmed near Dorpat. In 1503, Ivan III concluded a six-year truce with the Livonian Confederation, which was further extended under the same conditions in 1509, 1514, 1521, 1531 and 1534. From the provisions of the treaty, the Derpt bishopric should pay the so-called “Yuriev tribute” to Pskov every year.
For half a century, the Order managed to forget the bashing received from Ivan III. Treaties operate when they are supported by force (for hundreds of years, nothing on the planet has changed). When the Baltic Protestant Lutherans began to attack the Orthodox churches, Basil III strictly warned them: "I am not the Pope and not the emperor, who do not know how to protect their churches." Under Elena Glinsky, the Livonians were again reminded of the sanctity of churches and the freedom of trade for Russians. The Order unequivocally warned: "But if anyone breaks the oath, God and the oath, pestilence, glad, fire and sword."
However, during the period of the boyar rule, the Livonians dissolved to the end. Russian churches and “ends”, trading houses in the Baltic cities were ravaged. The Order banned transit trade through its territory altogether. All visitors had to enter into transactions only with local merchants, who took advantage of the situation and dictated their prices and conditions, benefited from the mediation. Moreover, the order authorities began to decide for themselves which goods to pass to Russia, and which not. In order to weaken Russia's military potential, the Livonians imposed an embargo on copper, lead, nitrate, banned the passage of Western specialists who wish to enter the Russian service. The Livonians wrote to the German emperor that "Russia is dangerous," the supply of military goods to it and the admission of Western masters "will increase the strength of our natural enemy." Hostile antics continued. Local authorities under the phony pretenses robbed Russian merchants, took away goods from them, threw them into prison. It happened that the Russians were simply killed.
In 1550, the time has come to confirm the truce. Moscow demanded that the Livonians comply with the previous agreements, but they refused. Then the Russian government officially made a complaint. It was mentioned “guests (merchants) of Novgorod and Pskov dishonor and resentment and ... trade irregularities”, the ban on allowing Western goods into Russia and “out of the people of the service people of all kinds of masters”. It was proposed to convene an embassy congress and judge issues before arbitrators. Only on such conditions, Moscow agreed to extend the truce. But the Order ignored these proposals and defiantly confirmed all trade sanctions.
In 1554, the Moscow government decided to step up pressure on Livonia. To do this, use the question "Yuriev tribute." When it arose, it is not exactly known. Novgorod and Pskov have repeatedly waged their own wars with Livonia in the past. In one of the battles, the Pskovs smashed the Bishop of Dorpat (formerly Russian Yuriev, founded by the Russian prince Yaroslav the Wise, he called the ancient settlement for his Christian name), and he pledged to pay tribute. The tribute was mentioned in the agreements between Pskov and the bishop in 1460 - 1470's, and in 1503 it was included in the agreement between the Order and the Russian state. They had already forgotten about the tribute, but Visky and Adashev found this clause in old documents. Moreover, they also interpreted it in their own way. Previously, the territory of the Baltic was a Russian suburb, the Russians founded Kolyvan (Revel-Tallinn), Yuriev-Dorpat and other cities. Later, they were captured by the German crusaders. Adashev and Viskovaty interpreted history differently and informed the Livonians: the king's ancestors allowed the Germans to settle on their land subject to the payment of tribute and demanded an "arrears" for 50 years.
Adashev sharply answered the Livonians' attempts to object: if you do not pay the tribute, the sovereign will come for her. Livonians chickened out and made concessions. Livonia restored free trade, pledged to restore the destroyed Orthodox churches, refused military alliances with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Sweden. The Bishop of Dorpat had to pay tribute, and the Grand Master and the Archbishop of Riga - to follow this. On the collection of money was given 3 year. When the ambassadors brought such an agreement to the Livonian rulers, they were stunned. The sum for half a century has come up huge, for each year “according to the German hryvnia from the head” of the Dorpat population. And it was not only money. Under the then legal norms, the tribute payer was a vassal of the one to whom he pays.
But the wrath of Moscow did not want the Livonians to incur. Russia at this time was on the rise. The central power has grown stronger, the military and economic power has been growing every year. The time of the restoration of the great Russian empire began, after the troubled times - the period of feudal fragmentation. Moscow became the successor of the Horde Empire, Russia - a huge continental (Eurasian) empire.
Livonian authorities decided to cheat. They took the oath to the Russian ambassador that they would fulfill all the conditions. But they left a loophole for themselves - they said that the treaty was not valid until it was approved by the emperor, since the Order was part of the German Empire. And Livonia did not fulfill the accepted conditions. Local authorities, the knights have long been traders, had the closest ties of merchants and did not want to lose huge revenues from intermediary trade. As a result, the city magistrates left in force all the restrictions imposed on the Russians. Moreover, no one was going to collect some tribute and restore the Orthodox churches at their own expense. Moscow was connected with the wars with Kazan, Astrakhan, and the Crimean horde, which means that it could not do Livonia yet.
In general, the policy of the weak, decayed Order was stupid. Russia every year became stronger, restoring the position of a great power. But Livonia was not considered treaties, angered its powerful neighbor, while the Livonians did not prepare to fight. Thought that everything will be as before. Even if it comes to war, there will be no catastrophic consequences, somehow it will blow over. Hoping for strong fortresses and castles. Bishops, cities and merchants did not want to shell out for a strong army. Order as a military force is completely decomposed. The Livonian knights boasted to each other "the glory of their ancestors", their castles, weapons, but forgot how to fight. The master's order, the bishops, the Fochts, the commanders and the city authorities lived autonomously, fighting for power and their rights.
Livonian Confederation itself began to fall apart. The Polish king Sigismund II held secret negotiations with the Archbishop of William of Riga. As a result, the archbishop appointed Christophe of Mecklenburg as his deputy and successor (a protege of the Poles). Subsequently, becoming the archbishop, Christophe had to transform the archdiocese into a principality dependent on Poland. These plans soon ceased to be a secret, a big scandal broke out. Grand Master Fürstenberg assembled knights, attacked the archbishop and captured him along with Deputy Christophe. However, Poland threatened war. The master was unable to gather an army, Livonia was helpless in front of Poland. In September, 1556, the master publicly apologized to the Polish king and signed the agreement. Wilhelm was returned to the archbishopric. Livonia granted Lithuania free trade, and entered into an anti-Russian alliance with it. Livonians also pledged not to allow military supplies and Western specialists to enter Russia. Thus, Livonia has violated all the conditions of an armistice with Russia.
Meanwhile, Russia once again strained relations with Sweden. The Swedes decided that Moscow was completely bogged down in the east, its affairs were bad and it was time to use the favorable moment. Since 1555, the Swedes began to plunder and seize Russian frontier lands, meadows and fishes. When the peasants tried to fight back, their villages burned down. The governor of Novgorod, Prince Paletsky, sent Ambassador Kuzmin to Stockholm to King Gustav with a protest, but he was arrested. The Swedish king was offended that he had to communicate with the Novgorod governor, and not the Russian tsar. In Sweden, the war party prevailed. There were "happy" rumors that the Russian army was defeated by the Tatars, that Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich either died, or was overthrown, and unrest began. Like, it's time to take advantage of the situation.
Swedish troops crossed the border. Novgorod detachments at the border were defeated. The Swedes were outraged in Karelia. The Swedish fleet of Admiral Jacob Bagge in the spring of 1555, passed to the Neva and landed troops. The Swedish corps besieged Oreshek. But rumors about the catastrophic situation in Russia were not justified. Nut resisted, he came to the aid of Russian rati. They strongly pressed on the Swedish corps, the enemy suffered heavy losses and fled. In Novgorod, gathered a large army. But the Swedes continued to fight, hoping for the support of Poland and Livonia (they promised support, but deceived). Russian troops invaded Swedish Finland, in January 1556 defeated the Swedes near Vyborg and laid siege to the enemy fortress. Swedish territories were severely ravaged.
Gustav pleaded for peace. Moscow has agreed to negotiate. In March 1557, a peace treaty was signed for a period of 40 years. The treaty as a whole maintained the status quo, but who won the war was obvious. The old border was restored, the Russian prisoners were released, the Swedes bought out their own. Agreed on mutual free trade between both states and on free passage through them to other lands. The Swedish rabbit was humiliated for his former pride - he did not want to negotiate with the governor of Novgorod. They wrote that it was “not dishonor, but honor” to deal with Novgorod, because the suburbs of Novgorod (Pskov and Ustyug) are “more Stekolny” (Stockholm), and the governors are “children and grandchildren of Lithuanian, Kazan and Russian monarchs”. The Swedish king “is not in reproach, but solely in mind ... has it been selling oxen for a long time?” (Gustav was raised to the throne by the rebels). Gustav had to forget about his pride, while the Russians once again did not pour out the Swedes. 1 January 1558 year contract with Sweden entered into force.
The Livonians, seeing the force of Moscow by the example of Sweden, began to worry. Payment term "Yuriev tribute" expired. The Order tried to challenge her again, but in Moscow the Livonian ambassadors did not even listen. Then the Russian Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich tore up trade with Livonia, forbade the Pskov and Novgorod merchants to go there. The restoration of the fortress Ivangorod began. Troops began to gather on the western border. New negotiations again did not lead to success.
The outbreak of war
In January, 1558, 40-th. The Russian army under the command of Kasimov's Tsar Shig-Alei (Shah-Ali), Prince M. V. Glinsky and the boyar Daniil Romanovich Zakharyin invaded Livonia. To the campaign were brought new subjects of Moscow - Kazan Tatars, Mari (Cheremis), Kabardians, Circassians, Allied Nogai. The Novgorod and Pskov hunters joined in (as volunteers were called). For a month, Russian troops marched along the path of Marienburg - Neuhausen - Derpt - Wesenberg - Narva. Russian troops did not get to Riga and Revel a bit. In this case, the Russian army did not take the fortified cities and fortresses, so as not to linger. The unfortified towns of towns and villages were smashed. It was a reconnaissance and punitive campaign aimed at punishing the Order for its antics and forcing Moscow to accept the conditions. Livonia was devastated.
In February, troops returned to the Russian borders, capturing huge booty and leading crowds of prisoners. After that, at the direction of the king, Shig-Alei acted as if in a mediator role - he wrote to the Order's rulers that they should blame themselves because they violated the agreements, but if they want to improve, it is not too late, let them send delegates. Having learned about sending an ambassador from the master to Moscow, Shig-Alei ordered to stop the fighting.
Initially it seemed that the war on this and will be stopped. The extraordinary Landtag of the Livonian Order decided to collect for the calculation with Moscow 60 thousands of thalers in order to stop the war that had begun and to conclude peace. However, by May, only half the required amount had been collected. Worse, the Livonians thought they were safe in the fortresses. That the Russians were afraid to storm their strong fortresses and fled. What they actually "won." The Narva garrison fired upon the Russian Ivangorod fortress, thus violating the armistice agreement. Russian army prepared for a new campaign.